To explore the difference in the relationship between humans and the divine in the Bible and in the Iliad, one can look at the intention behind the divine’s interactions with mortals. Both the Bible and the Iliad tell us that the divine expects human beings to make sacrifices in their name. Whether it is a young lamb for the Hebrew God, or expensive wine for Zeus, both are sacrifices and a demonstration of the divine’s power. However, the reason behind each sacrifice is very different. In the Bible, the Lord expects his followers to make sacrifices to Him out of respect. It is their way to prove their love and devotion to Him. Perhaps the greatest example of this is when God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. God came to Abraham an...
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...like qualities and even take the form of mortals to fully immerse themselves in the battle. For instance, at one point Achilles is being beaten down by the River because he did not obey her wishes. However, “Then Poseidon and Athena were with him/ In human form, clasping his hand/ And pledging support”(Iliad, XXI, 295-297). The Greeks gods literally become human, which takes away any notion of them being omnipotent. Because of this, their relationship with human beings is much more ambiguous and there is less of an obvious power imbalance. In fact, as noted earlier, they truly are vulnerable and can be harmed by mere mortals. Although they cannot die from their wounds, the mere fact that a mortal can injure a god is symbolic of their humanlike qualities. The Hebrew God is never truly seen because He does not take the shape of a man, making Him even more mysterious.
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